Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Weekend Garden ~ Chickpea Flower

Chickpea Flower
Chickpea Flower ~ From Our Patio Garden

Slide Film Photography ~ by Singari Vijay

Sree’s Canvas ~ by talented artist Sree of Kochi, India

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chickpeas-Black,Hara Chana(Green Chickpeas),Zen (Personal) (Saturday July 21, 2007 at 9:05 pm- permalink)
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Series of Sprouts ~Black Chickpea sprouts

Black chickpeas~Dried ………………………………Black Chickpeas~Soaked

A ganji gudda (loosely woven cotton cloth),
Few seeds or grains,
Water and warm weather

There you go, you have everything you need to create one of the truly miracle foods of nature – the sprouts.

The warm weather during late spring and summer season suits seed sprouting. The seeds germinate quickly and easily, often within a day or two. And this type of natural sprouting process produces superior quality sprouts that taste way better than store bought stuff, I think. There won’t be any such doubts as how old are the sprouts, any chemical spraying involved, etc. After all, you are the one who assisted in the creation of precious life force.

I started this year summer sprouts series with black chickpeas (kala chana). Earthy and nutty, black chickpeas produce robust sprouts. I found that they are little bit tough to digest raw but steam-cooked, they sure make us go shabba shabba.

Black Chickpea Sprouts in Ganji Gudda

How to:

2 cups of black chickpeas (kala chana, Nalla Sanagalu)
Loosely woven cotton cloth (cheesecloth or ganji gudda)

Wash and soak black chickpeas in plenty of water, overnight. They expand considerably, so place them in a big vessel.

In a colander, spread the cheesecloth. Pour away the water and gather soaked black chickpeas. Bring the edges together and tie a knot. Hang the cloth in a windowsill.

Allow to sprout. Usually takes a day or two. Don’t let them dry completely. Remove, sprinkle water and hang again or use a sprayer to keep the cloth moist.

Incase of chickpeas, I usually let the sprouts grow only as long as the seed. Too long a sprout, the seed turn to bitter sometimes.

Remove and simmer them in salted water until they are tender or steam-cook. I usually do steam-cooking or plain stir-fry in guggllu/sundal style.

Sprouted black chickpeas make a great snack, and a good addition to curries/stews/kurmas.

Steam-Cooked Black Chickpea Sprouts ~ Our Weekend Snack

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chickpeas-Black,Sprouts (Molakalu) (Monday June 4, 2007 at 9:45 am- permalink)
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Cherry Tomato ~ Basmati Pulao

Tomatoes from My Container Garden

The past week before going on a weeklong working vacation to DC with Vijay, one thing I did was picking the cherry tomatoes from my container garden. There were almost two pounds of tomatoes from 4 plants. I picked even the unripe ones, thinking the plants were not going to survive this hot weather without getting water daily. By the time we returned, we were like fried puris all red and puffed up, whereas our plants were all shriveled up and looking tired because of extremely hot weather. I think there is one more crop in them, that’s all.

Cherry tomatoes have thin skin, filled with juice without lot of thick flesh, just like the tomatoes that I would find in India. That’s why I prefer them for planting for my container garden every year. They are perfect for curries, rasams, salads and for rice. And one of the best recipes that truly do justice to the incredible flavor of summer tomatoes is tomato pulao. I often prepare it during this season. Quite easy, a one-pot meal and always a crowd favorite, if you haven’t tried tomato pulao yet, trust me and give it a try. Juicy tomatoes and fragrant basmati rice cooked together is a taste that would make you whistle summer tunes.:)

Summer’s Tomato Bounty


Tomatoes and Veggies:
15 to 20 cherry tomatoes or 1 pound ripe tomatoes of any variety – chopped
1 onion and 6 green chillies – finely chopped lengthwise
½ cup of finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup of frozen fresh chickpeas
(available as ‘Choleye’ in Indian grocery shops-frozen section. Green peas fresh or dried, or roasted cashews – they all taste good with this rice. Your choice.)

Basmati Rice:
1 cup of basmati rice and 2½ cups of water

For Masala:
2 each – cardamom pods and cloves
1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon of black peppercorn
Coarsely grind these together.
Salt, bay leaf and ghee or oil to taste

1 In a large saucepan, heat ghee/oil. Add and saute the onions until soft and red.

2 Add the green chillies, masala powder, bay leaf and chickpeas, saute for few minutes.

3 Stir in the cut tomatoes, juice, seeds everything. Increase the heat to high, cook them covered until the tomatoes when pressed with a spatula turn to soft, concentrated mush.

4 Stir in the basmati rice and salt. Add water and mix. On high heat, bring the water to boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Mix only once and resist the temptation to stir frequently (frequent stirring breaks the rice and makes a soggy mess.) Turn off the heat and leave it to rest for about 5 minutes. Just before serving, sprinkle fresh cilantro, gently mix taking care not to brake the basmati rice.

Serve with kurma and/or raita (yogurt is mixed with salt, finely chopped onions, green chillies and grated carrot, cucumber).

From Pot to Plate ~ Tomato : Basmati Pulao with Raita ~ For Green Blog Project”

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Basmati Rice,Biyyamu (Rice),Chickpeas-Black,Tomato (Thursday August 3, 2006 at 2:04 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Chickpea Guggullu ~ Black and White

Black Chickpea Guggullu
Black Chickpea (Kala Chana, Sanaga) Guggullu with Tomatoes and Fresh Coconut

Temple prasadam, beach fare and yogi diet – guggullu (sundal) is a comforting, quick snack item and quite easy to prepare at home also.

Soak the chickpeas overnight in water; cook them until tender and prepare ‘guggullu’ by quickly sauteeing them in few drops of oil, with lot of curry leaves, finely chopped red and green chillies. Sprinkle turmeric and salt to taste. Fresh coconut gratings, sometimes finely chopped tomatoes, onions and green mango are also added just before serving.

Chickpea, (Dubba Sanagala) Guggullu
Chickpea Guggullu with Fresh Coconut

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Chickpeas,Chickpeas-Black (Monday July 24, 2006 at 7:56 am- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Sanagalu (Kala Chana, Black Chickpeas)

One Chickpea (Chana, Choleye, Sanaga) ~ Different Forms
For This Week’s Indian Kitchen

Green fresh chana – Shelled from pods (and available frozen in Indian grocery shops).

Black chickpeas (Kala Chana) – Result of green chana dried under the sun.

Chana Dal (Bengal Gram, Sanaga Pappu) – Prepared by splitting the black chickpeas and removing the brownish-black outer skins.

Roasted Chana Dal (Dalia, Pappulu) – Prepared by roasting black chickpeas in special kilns and then splitting and removing the brownish-black outer skins.


Contributions From Fellow Bloggers For Indian Kitchen Series

Kavvam (Buttermilk Churner)
Kavvam (Buttermilk Churner) ~ To “Cool Those Summers”, from Yadbhavishya

Boondhi Maker
Boondhi Strainers and Makers ~ To Prepare Boondhi Laddu, from Foodnewbie

Thanks Vidyanath and Sudha for sending me these photos for Indian Kitchen series.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chana Dal,Chana Dal-Roasted (Dalia),Chickpeas-Black,Indian Ingredients,Indian Kitchen,Indian Utensils (Sunday July 23, 2006 at 3:08 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Kadala Curry/Ghughni (Black Chickpeas&Coconut Milk)

Black chickpeas are another type of legume, which I frequently add to the regular sauté curries. Compared to white chickpeas, black ones – we call them ‘kaala chana’, like all other colored ingredients, have an earthy taste and a more robust nutty flavor. They not only bring color to the dish and also fill that essential, guilt free protein need. They are the wonder food, that taste good.

Raw black chickpeas, Soaked overnight in water-black chickpeas, Pressure cooked black chickpeas
Black Chickpeas – Raw, Soaked in water and Pressure-cooked

I learned by reading other food bloggers recipes that, black chickpeas cooked in coconut milk based sauce is Keralas favorite dish – ‘The Kadala Curry’. Cooked in tomato-onion sauce without the coconut is Bengalis favorite dish – ‘The Ghughni’. Last weekend I prepared – ‘Kadala curry’ with coconut milk.


1 cup black chickpeas, overnight soaked in water
½ cup coconut milk (homemade watery kind)
4 medium sized ripe tomatoes,
1 medium sized red onion or 4 to 6 shallots
1 tsp of g-g-c paste (Ginger-Garlic-Cilantro)
1 tsp of c-c-c-c powder(Cumin-Coriander seed-Cloves-Cinnamon)
½ tsp of red chilli powder and turmeric
Salt to taste
1 tsp of each, mustard seeds, cumin, minced garlic and curry leaves

1. Take black chickpeas in a pressure cooker, add ¼ tsp of salt and 2 cups of water. Pressure-cook them till they are just tender. (Take caution not overcook them.) Drain and keep aside.
2. Meanwhile – roast tomatoes and onions in half teaspoon of oil. When they are little bit cool, grind them to smooth paste. Also prepare coconut milk and g-g-g paste and c-c-c-c powder.
3. Cook 1 and 2 together. In a big sauce pan, heat 1 teaspoon of oil, toast popu or tadka ingredients, add the sauce and seasonings and half cup of water. Cover and cook them for about 10 minutes. Stir in black chickpeas and coconut milk and simmer them, stirring in between until the curry reaches the thickness you desire or for about 10-15 minutes on medium heat.
Serve hot with roti/nan or with rice.

Variation: If you are calorie conscious, you can make this curry without coconut milk. Just increase the amount of tomatoes and onions for sauce – you’ve prepared a traditional Bengali dish ‘Ghughni‘.

Kadala Curry and Roti
Kadala Curry and Roti

Recipe Source: Priya’s Kitchen and Kadchi Ki Kamal.
For Ghughni and its different variations try Google search.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chickpeas-Black,Coconut (Fresh) (Tuesday February 14, 2006 at 9:56 am- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Brussels Sprouts Curry

“Brussels sprouts taste almost like cabbage and they have a pronounced and sweet nutty flavor”, said Martha, in one of the episodes on Martha Stewart Living daily show, back in the days. That’s all I needed to know before trying out this winter vegetable.

As a new immigrant to this country, unfamiliar with most of the vegetables available here, no friends or relatives to learn from, Martha is like a mother figure to me. Calm, collected, intelligent and informative, it seemed she actually knew, what she was talking about unlike the current crop of food TV stars. No bam bam.. No unnecessary giggles and no artificial mile-length smiles. What she has is dignity and love of her craft and it reflected on her shows. Back then, I watched her show almost daily and learned so many things too.

I wish she would go back to the old format, because her new shows these days are not like the shows two, three years ago. Don’t they already have enough talk shows to promote movies and TV sitcoms?

Brussels Sprouts

I prepare brussels sprouts just like cabbage curry: sliced thin, sautéed with onion and seasoned with green chillis and coconut. I also add some sort of beans, pre soaked in water, like kala chana, chickpeas or dried green peas. If you have not already tried this vegetable, try it this way. I am sure, you are going to like it very much and thank me with a Christmas gift for this wonderful recipe. 🙂


12 to 15 fresh brussels sprouts
1 big onion, sliced thin lengthwise
2 fistfuls of kala chana(black chickpeas), soaked in water overnight
(Dried green peas, chickpeas work too)
4 green chillies and 1 tablespoon of coconut – made into paste
Salt to taste and pinch of turmeric
1 tsp of cumin and mustard seeds, curry leaves etc., for tadka or popu

Brussels Sprouts sliced then, Kala Chana, Onions and Green Chilli-Coconut Paste


Wash and Remove outer leaves and trim the bases of brussels sprouts. Check atleast two layers of leaves and remove them too if you find any black spots etc., . Cut each one into half and slice them thin lengthwise.

In a big pan, heat one teaspoon of peanut oil, do the popu or tadka (toasting mustard seeds, cumin and curry leaves). Add and stir fry the onions and kala chana for few minutes. Stir in the brussels sprouts. Add all the seasoning (green chilli-coconut paste, salt, turmeric), mix them together. Cover and cook on low medium heat for about 10 minutes. Leave it like that, don’t open the lid and allow them to cook in their own steam. After 10 minutes, remove the lid, stir them once and add salt if necessary. By now, the sprouts will be tender and done. Switch off the heat and serve immediately.

Brussels sprouts prepared in this way, taste great with chapatis and naans.

Brussels Sprouts Curry with Chapatis
Brussels Sprouts Curry and Chapatis ~ Our lunch today.

Recipe source: My own creation

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Brussels Sprouts,Chickpeas-Black (Thursday December 8, 2005 at 3:00 pm- permalink)
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